Hadoop for Desktop, SAP Earnings Top this Week’s Big Data Roundup

This week Hortonworks introduced a new distribution option for Hadoop, while SAP updates us on the progress it’s made with HANA in the past three months.  MapR also grabbed a headline after publishing a list of its top customer wins from 2012.

Starting with the aYahoo spin off Hortonworks, on Tuesday the big data startup announced Hortonworks Sandbox, a pre-configured version of Hadoop that is compact enough to run on a PC.  The solution is based on HDP 1.2, the latest edition of Hortonworks’ open-source enterprise distribution, and it runs as a standalone app in a virtual machine.

The purpose of Sandbox is to allow techies and academics to get hands-on experience with big data without making the financial investment.  Hortonworks is not the only Hadoop distributor that offers a trial version of its platform, but it’s one of the first to have produced a demo that doesn’t require the user to possess technical skills or have access to a beefy computer cluster.

Hadapt chief scientist Mingsheng Hong and CTO Philip Wickline showed us a desktop release of their distribution three months ago, but the startup has different priorities than Hortonworks. Wickline boasted of real-time access to data and business applicability, rather than openness and availability.

Also this week, SAP held its earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2012. The software maker had a stellar quarter and a very successful year overall, thanks to significant growth in three main areas: cloud, mobile, and big data.  HANA alone raked in more than $269 million last quarter, accounting for more than half of the company’s analytics revenue last year.

SAP is one of several firms that reported a strong increase in demand for big data technology. MapR’s business has grown immensely in the past 12 months thanks to lucrative licensing agreements with multiple Fortune 100 companies.